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Geography and Climate

Geographical coordinates: 22° 00’ S, 17° 00’ E

Location: South West Africa

Namibian borders:
South Africa in the south (967km),
South Atlantic Ocean in the west (1572km),
Angola in the north (1376km)
Zambia (233km)
Botswana (1360km) in the east

Country name: Republic of Namibia (long) Namibia (short)

Size: 823 680 sq km

Capital: Windhoek (coordinates 22° 34’ S, 17°05’ E)

Main towns: Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Lüderitz, Okahandja, Outjo, Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Otjiwarongo, Gobabis.

Namibia has vast climate variations.
In the north the rainfall is much higher than the rest of the country, from 400mm to over 600mm in the far north. The Kavango and Eastern Caprivi region contains thick bushes and woodland areas. The day and night temperature is a little higher than central Namibia. The main rainy season stretch from January until March and there may be rivers in flood during this time. Roads may also become impassable.

The lower lying eastern and southern part of Namibia is in fact an extension of the Kalahari (Botswana) and Karoo (South Africa) and the climate is therefore very dry and hot, with an average temperature as high as 40°C.

In the west you have the Namib Desert stretching from the Orange River in the south to the Kunene River in the north. It is claimed to be the oldest desert, by estimate 80 million years. Here you have the desert on one side and the cold Benguela Current on the other creating pleasant onshore winds. At the coast the South Atlantic anticyclone pressure system creates south-westerly winds and an eastern wind in winter. This determines the climate of the country. Day temperatures in the Namib Desert can reach over 40°C and night temperatures can drop to below freezing. From June to August strong east winds create three-day sandstorms in the Namib. Fog may develop through the night and last until midday. Rainfall is very low, between 15mm and 100mm per year.

The central escarpment has moderate temperatures making it pleasant to visit all year round. It is a semi-arid mountainous area with a general light wind. Rainfall is lower than the north (200-400mm) with two rainy seasons. The rains start from October to December (short or small rains) and then again from January to April. Rainfall often comes as heavy thunderstorms in late afternoon or evening and usually passes quickly. The rest of the year Namibia has moderately hot weather with clear blue skies. Humidity is usually very low. Namibia can boast a minimum of 300 days of sunshine a year. Winter night temperatures may drop below freezing and frost may occur.

Tourists are advised to pack hot and cold weather clothing all year round. Other necessities includes: hats, sunglasses, lip balm, sun block and moisturizer.

Minimum and maximum temperature variation throughout the year:

February    16-30°
April           13-29°
June            7-22°
August         9-24°
October      12-30°
December   16-30°

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